June 1, 2023

Pensions: many service stations are empty

In the energy sector, the first effects of the strike against the pension reform are being felt. As the strike hardens in the refineries, many French stations are dry for the first time since the start of the conflict. They are mainly located in the South-East where the prefectures of Vaucluse and Gard have decided to limit sales.

“There is no longer any product coming out at this time” from all the refineries in France, whether from the six conventional refineries or from the La Mède biorefinery (Bouches-du-Rhône), said Monday at AFP, Eric Sellini, national elected representative of the CGT Chimie. Fuel shipments to depots that supply service stations were already blocked this weekend at most refineries.

Since Monday, the TotalEnergies refinery in Feyzin (Rhône) and that of Esso-ExxonMobil in Fos-sur-Mer have again ceased shipments, according to the CGT, which is confirmed by the management of the two groups. “Until Thursday evening, there will be no fuel output, whether by wagon or truck,” said Lionel Arbiol, CGT delegate at the Esso-ExxonMobil refinery in Fos-sur-Mer.

Several refineries shut down or threatened

Until very recently, refineries continued to produce fuel, even if it was not shipped. But that changes with the shutdown this weekend of a first refinery, the largest in France, that of TotalEnergies in Normandy. The operation takes several days and the installation should completely stop “Monday evening or Tuesday morning”, according to Eric Sellini. At this stage, some units of the platform “remain in normal operation and ensure their production”, according to management.

Other refineries could follow. Like PétroIneos in Lavéra (Bouches-du-Rhône), where “the shutdown procedure” must be launched on Monday afternoon, according to Sébastien Varagnol, CGT delegate. Near Lyon, the time has come to return to work. According to Jeff Vapillon, FO trade unionist and employee of the Feyzin site, the 6:00 a.m. team did not come to relieve the night team on Monday, forcing the latter to prolong its work, in order to push management to issue “stop instructions”.

The Esso-ExxonMobil refinery in Port-Jérôme-Gravenchon (Seine-Maritime) could stop producing on Monday or Tuesday at the latest, for lack of crude oil to be refined, as a result of a strike at the oil port of Le Havre, according to the CGT. The refinery’s production is “reduced and adjusted according to crude oil arrivals, but it is not stopped”, according to management.

37% of Bouches-du-Rhône resorts dry

Half of the Bouches-du-Rhône service stations lack a type of fuel on Monday, and 37% are dry, according to public data analyzed by AFP.

The Vaucluse prefecture decided on Monday to limit fuel sales in the department’s stations, until Thursday inclusive, in order to avoid phenomena of “preventive purchases detrimental to the proper functioning” of these stations, a measure also taken by the Gard prefecture.

The shortage has spread to the neighboring departments of Gard and Vaucluse in particular, but the lack of fuel also affects some western departments, such as Loire-Atlantique, where the Donges refinery has stopped its fuel shipments. for many days.

The management of TotalEnergies recognizes that supplies are “disrupted”, but ensures that the tensions generated are “temporary”.

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